“NRF: Back-to-School Shopping to Reach Record Levels in 2021” by Melissa Campanelli via Total Retail

“NRF: Back-to-School Shopping to Reach Record Levels in 2021” by Melissa Campanelli via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Max Riesgo Consumers plan to spend record amounts for both school and college supplies as families and students plan to return to in-person classrooms this fall, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year, according to the NRF. Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey’s history. College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32, an increase of $141 over last year. Over half ($80) of this increase is due to increased spending on electronics and dorm furnishings. Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach a record $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020. About 43 percent of all shoppers said they will use government stimulus money to purchase items for school. According to the survey, as of early July more than half (51 percent) of K-12 and college shoppers have begun shopping for the items they will need when classes resume later this year. However, the vast majority (76 percent) of K-12 shoppers were still waiting on lists for school supplies as of earlier this month. Total Retail’s Take: In other good news, the NRF said last week that retail sales saw solid growth during June, increasing in most categories on a monthly basis and across the board on a yearly basis as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued....
“Child tax credits an ‘underappreciated’ stimulus that could boost retail: Cowen” by  Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

“Child tax credits an ‘underappreciated’ stimulus that could boost retail: Cowen” by Ben Unglesbee via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: This month, some 39 million households will begin receiving tax credit payments for each child under 18, a new relief program Cowen analysts called an “underappreciated catalyst for consumer spend” in a report this week.  The program, part of President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats’ American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year, comes as the back-to-school shopping season ramps up and could benefit numerous retailers.Aimed at reducing child poverty, the checks could boost spending at food retailers, including Walmart and Target, according to Cowen. Also in line to benefit are Amazon and other e-commerce players, off-price retailers, and apparel and footwear sellers, analysts said. Dive Insight: The nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan has already helped prop up retail sales with checks that went out to more than 160 million Americans earlier this year. Together with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the stimulus helped retailers across numerous sectors recover from the crisis year of 2020 when stores closed, the economy stumbled and customers avoided physical stores. The $150 billion child tax credit program that begins in July will add more cash to consumers’ pocketbooks. The payments total out to $3,600 per child under six per year, and $3,000 per child over age six for couples making up to $150,000 and single parents making up to $112,500. That sum is dispersed in monthly payments throughout the year. Chris Krueger of Cowen’s Washington Research Group called it a “huge policy change” that is “universal basic income for low-middle income parents.” The checks start rolling out as the back-to-school season ramps up. That could lift sales at softlines retailers, among others. Cowen analyst John Kernan said in the report that if...
“Back-to-school shopping to rise 9% in 2021: KPMG” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“Back-to-school shopping to rise 9% in 2021: KPMG” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: Back-to-school is just around the corner, and a recent KPMG survey of 1,000 consumers found that shoppers plan to spend $268 per child this year, an uptick from $247 per student in 2020. That’s an estimated increase of 9% for back-to-school spend this year.Spending for preschool (up 32%) and college students (up 13%) is expected to increase more than their middle school (up 3%) and high school (up 4%) counterparts, according to the report.Among the retail categories that shoppers are expected to spend on are footwear (21%), school supplies (16%) and apparel (14%). Consumers reported a lower likelihood of buying computers and study-related furniture, according to the report. Dive Insight: With summer in full swing, attention is shifting to the upcoming back-to-school season. The expected uptick in school supply spending is driven by the larger than average group of pre-schoolers and college students, the report noted.   Though shopping online for school-related items became more prevalent last year, more consumers are expected to shop in-store than online in 2021. Per KPMG’s findings, in-store school supply shopping has significantly decreased from pre-COVID levels, at an anticipated 57% (down from 66%), while online shopping is predicted to rise to 44% from 34% pre-pandemic. Higher-income parents appear to drive online spending, KPMG noted in its report. Parents earning more than $50,000 are more likely to shop online, but those with less income are more likely to shop in-store.  The predicted increase in back-to-school spending follows a relatively flat 2020. Per a Deloitte report, last year’s back-to-school shopping remained at $529 on average per household, but more than a third of shoppers’ budgets were devoted to online shopping. Store re-openings...
“Digging Deeper Into Skate and Surf Participation Growth” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

“Digging Deeper Into Skate and Surf Participation Growth” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf (Executive Edition)

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article:  Digging Deeper Into Skate and Surf Participation Growth Please note that this article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join...
“Surging Sales Continue in Surf and Skate Shops” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

“Surging Sales Continue in Surf and Skate Shops” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Strong sales in the core channel are showing no signs of slowdown as shoppers continue to embrace local retailers and the surf and skate lifestyle. According to the ActionWatch Retail Panel, year-to-date sales are up 89% vs. the same period in 2020. Click on the following link to view the rest of this informative Shop Eat Surf Article: “Surging Sales Continue in Surf and Skate Shops” Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not already a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join...
“Despite Monthly Decline, May Retail Sales Reach Near-Record Level” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

“Despite Monthly Decline, May Retail Sales Reach Near-Record Level” by Joe Keenan via Total Retail

Retail sales remained at elevated levels in May despite month-to-month fluctuations that masked near-record performance, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said today. The Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that May retail sales declined 1.3 percent month-over-month. However, the industry’s largest trade association says the May sales data doesn’t tell the whole story. “While May retail sales were down slightly, largely due to supply chain constraints, the more accurate indicator remains in the year-over-year data which, as the NRF calculates, showed growth of over 17 percent,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “For the first five months of this year, retail sales are already tracking 17.6 percent above the same five months of 2020, giving us further confidence in our newly revised sales forecast of growth between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent to more than $4.44 trillion for 2021. While there are downside risks related to labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, tax increases and over-regulation, overall, households are healthier, and consumers are demonstrating their ability and willingness to spend.” Total Retail’s Take: The ominous headlines that May’s retail sales declined, suggesting a slowdown in the economy’s recovery, need to be taken with a grain of salt. The retail sector has recorded solid growth in the first five months of the year, driven by a combination of factors, including stimulus packages, increasing vaccination rates, and greater consumer confidence. The NRF is banking on those trends continuing for the second half of 2021, illustrated by its recently boosted annual sales forecast. “The YoY comparison shows a robust rebound in May,” says Naveen Jaggi, president, retail advisory services, JLL. “This summer, we can expect consumer confidence to continue to make gains as more...